I just crossed the 10K word mark on my latest novella. It deals with the effects of a toxic rain that falls on unsuspecting townspeople. I'm aiming to have this fall in the 30,000-word range, but who knows? It could take off into a novel or wind up a long short story.
In the excerpt below, two of the main characters, Tim and Sara, are in a restaurant when the storm begins.
The Lacerated Sky
Copyright 2020 Anthony Izzo
At that moment, the sky opened up, and rain splattered the Stackhouse’s front door, which was all glass. Only it wasn’t rain. Fat, red droplets battered the glass and streaked the door.
Within moments, it looked as if someone had smeared red jelly all over the door.
“What the hell?” Tim said.
“That’s crazy,” Sara said.
The red droplets continued to pound the glass. In the dining room, most of the customers had moved to the windows to watch the strange storm.
A moment later, Sara heard the first scream. A woman in a skirt and white jacket stumbled along. She beat at her head. Her hair sizzled and had fallen out in clumps. As the woman faced the door, Sara recoiled.
Her cheeks were scorched, the skin peeling away. Drops hit her and hissed, causing her flesh to bubble and smoke.
“Jesus, it’s like acid,” Sara said.
“Strider. Shit. I have to get to him,” Tim said. "He's out in the truck."
“You can’t go out in that.”
A middle-aged guy in a suit staggered along. He had holes burned in the suit. A drop of the red rain it him in the eye, and steam rose from the eye socket. He wailed in agony as the rain bit into him.
The woman in the skirt was still flailing around. She spotted the guy in the suit, and then an even crazier thing happened. A gurgling scream came from her, and she pounced on the guy in the suit.
Sara shuddered as the woman sank her teeth into the guy’s neck. Blood erupted from an artery in his neck, painting the two of them with it. The guy fell to the ground as the woman clamped onto him, ripping at his neck.
The guy’s legs flailed and kicked. After a few moments, he no longer moved.